This Day in History - April 1

April 1

527 – Byzantine Emperor Justin I names his nephew Justinian I as co-ruler and successor to the throne

1572 – The Sea Beggars under Guillaume de la Marck arrive in Holland and capture the town of Briel

1578 – English physician and biologist William Harvey is born

1621 – The Pilgrim-Wampanoag peace treaty is signed, marking the first treaty between a Native American tribe and the American colonists

1700 – English pranksters popularized the annual tradition of April Fools’ Day

1748 – The ruins of Pompeii are rediscovered by Rocque Joaquin de Alcubierre

1778 – Oliver Pollock creates the dollar sign

1789 – The first US House of Representatives elects Frederick Augustus Conrad Muhlenberg as its first speaker

1800 – Levi Weeks is acquitted in New York of the alleged murder of his fiancé, Gulielma Sands, marking a big win for his attorneys, Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr

1815 – Chancellor of Germany Otto Von Bismarck is born

1816 – Jane Austen responds to a letter from the Prince Regent suggesting that she write a historic romance, with “I could not sit down to write a serious romance under any other motive than to save my life.”

1863 – The first wartime conscription law goes into effect in the US

1865 – General Robert E. Lee begins his final offensive at the Battle of Five Forks

1868 – The Hampton Institute is founded in Hampton, Virginia

1868 – French dramatist Edmond Rostand is born

1873 – Russian pianist, composer and conductor Sergei Rachmaninoff is born

1875 – Journalist, author, and playwright Edgar Wallace is born

1877 – Prospector Edward Schieffelin begins a search for silver in present-day Arizona. He will be quite successful and will name it Tombstone Lode. Tombstone will go on to boom, and with it, came lawlessness and eventual decline until becoming a tourist destination for those enamored by stories of the Old West

1883 – Actor Lon Chaney is born

1883 – US historian and biographer William Manchester is born

1895 – Singer Alberta Hunter is born

1905 – Berlin and Paris are linked by telephone

1917 – Pianist and composer Scott Joplin dies

1918 – England’s Royal Air Force is formed

1919 – Transplant physician Joseph E. Murray is born

1920 – Germany’s Workers Party changes its name to the Nationalist Socialist German Worker’s Party which was shortened to Nazis

1924 – Adolf Hitler is sentenced to five years in prison for the “Beer Hall Putsch,” and sentenced to Landsberg Jail for high treason

1928 – China’s Chiang Kai-shek begins attacks on communists

1929 – The yo-yo is introduced by Louie Marx

1929 – Writer Milan Kundera is born

1930 – Illegitimate daughter of famed Hungarian composer and pianist, Franz Liszt, Cosima Wagner dies

1933 – The Nazi persecution of Jews begins in Germany with a boycott of Jewish businesses

1939 – The Spanish Civil War effectively ends with the official recognition of Franco’s government

1940 – Nobel Prize-winning environmentalist Wangari Maathai is born

1942 – The US Navy begins a partial convoy system in the Atlantic

1945 – US forces launch an invasion of Okinawa

1946 – A miner’s strike in the US idles 400,000 workers

1946 – An earthquake off the Alaskan coast triggers a tsunami that kills 159 in Hawaii

1948 – The Berlin Airlift begins

1948 – Soviet troops stop US and British military trains traveling through Russian zone of occupation in Germany and demanded to search but were denied

1951 – UN forces move across the 38th Parallel in Korea

1952 – The Big Bang theory is proposed in Physical Review by Alpher, Bethe, and Gamow

1954 – The US Air Force Academy is founded in Colorado

1957 – The BBC broadcasts a show portraying a family harvesting spaghetti from a tree, leading to inquiries about how to acquire a tree, and is regarded as one of the greatest April Fools jokes ever

1960 – The first US weather satellite is launched from Cape Canaveral

1961 – Singer Susan Boyle is born

1963 – The soaps General Hospital and Doctors premiere

1968 – The US Army launches Operation Pegasus

1970 – The US Army charges Captain Ernest Medina for his part in the My Lai massacre

1970 – President Richard Nixon signs legislation banning cigarette ads on television and radio

1976 – Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs found Apple Computer

1976 – Painter, sculptor, and poet, Max Ernst dies

1979 – Ayatollah Khomeini proclaims the establishment of the Islamic Republic of Iran

1982 – The US transfers control of the Panama Canal Zone to Panama

1984 – Singer Marvin Gaye (the E was added as a stage name) is shot and killed by his father Marvin Gay, Sr., with whom he had a turbulent relationship

1985 – In one of the greatest upsets in college basketball history, the Villanova Wildcats beat the Georgetown Hoyas 66-64 to win the NCAA Men’s Division I tournament-- the first national championship for Villanova ever

1993 – Race car driver and owner Alan Kulwicki is killed in a plane crash near Bristol, Tennessee

2001 – Former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic is arrested on corruption charges

2001 – The Netherlands becomes the first country to allow same-sex marriage

2003 – Private Jessica Lynch is rescued by US commandos in a raid on an Iraqi hospital

2004 – President Bush signs the “Laci Peterson” bill making it a separate federal crime to harm a fetus during an attack on the mother

2010 – Actor John Forsythe dies

Written by Crystal McCann

Crystal is the Chief Operating Officer of Lanterns Media Network and the owner of Madisons Media. She lives in Texas with her husband and dogs and is the proud mother of two adult children.

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